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Britten - Sacred and Profane & other choral works

Britten - Sacred and Profane & other choral works

Polyphony, Stephen Layton

2013 saw the centenary of Britten’s birth and a wide-ranging programme of concerts, operas and events, including performances of his choral music. This recording is the perfect introduction to this repertoire.

Included on this Gramophone Award-winning recording is the last choral work for professionals which Britten was to complete—Sacred and Profane—a collection of eight medieval lyrics for voices in five parts (SSATB). Also included is the Chorale after an old French Carol whose text is by W H Auden (a close friend of Britten’s). The Chorale’s text was part of an unachieved Christmas Oratorio on which Britten and Auden intended to collaborate.  The seven settings of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins entitled A.M.D.G. were never performed in the composer’s lifetime and indeed had to wait until 1984 for their first performance.

Gramophone Award Winner
Gramophone Critics' Choice
Diapason d'Or
Diapason d'Or de l'Année

“Polyphony’s performances under Layton are musically impeccable, carefully wound and tuned, superbly balanced – a magnificent display of sheer beauty of choral sound, yet never lacking in intensity and delicate interpretive finesse.” (American Record Guide)

Label: Helios
Release date: 2001

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